Sunday, March 31, 2019

Finding Our Moynahan Ancestors In County Kerry, Ireland

This blog post is one of several that I hope will assist me in locating the townlands and parishes of my ancestors in Ireland. My brother, sister and I will be visiting Ireland and staying in Kerry in 2019.

Kerryman Matthew Moynahan

My 4th great grandfather Matthew Moynahan (1770-1860) emigrated from county Kerry in the 1820s with my 4th great grandmother Honora (O'Leary) Moynahan  (b. 1774) and Matthew died in Maidstone, Ontario in 1860. Matthew and Honora had six sons and three daughters in Ireland.

Burial record: 5 Feb 1860 (Maidstone, Ontario)
Source: Catholic Church Records, Drouin Collection (1747-1967)
Matthew Moynahan's 1856 memorial registration at the Archives of Ontario (GS 987 Sandwich Township, Essex County, Deed, Vol. D, 1857-1860, #581-993)

Kerryman Dennis Moynahan

My 3rd great grandfather Denis Moynahan (1787-1885) emigrated from county Kerry the same time (1820s) and married Catherine Roach at Ste. Anne's Roman Catholic church in Detroit Michigan in 1833 om the 29th of April.

Kerryman Timothy Moynahan

My 4th great-uncle Timothy Moynahan (1813-1902) tells the story of his emigration from County Kerry as follows
Detroit Free PressNovember 25, 1900
"To begin at the beginning, I was born in Count Kerry eighty seven years ago and came over when I was nine years of age, my folks settling in Pennsylvania where we lived three years before coming to Windsor.  
The Thomas of Cork, Captain Bamfield , master, was the ship upon which we sailed. She was an old war remnant, as slow as molasses in January and the trip occupied six weeks and three days.

A lonely voyage it would have been too if it had not been for the fact that there were sixty-two women, a flute player and a piper aboard. The women were wives of soldiers that were serving the crown in this country, and they were coming over to join their husbands.

Between the women and the musicians, the time passed pleasantly. The piper was an untiring Highlander, and he succeeded in driving all the rats from the old schooner. The music of the Scotch bagpipes will do that same you know."
Moynahans in County Kerry Ireland 1688

I have struggled researching Irish records and have been unsuccessful locating any that directly connect to my ancestors.

For example, there is a reference to "Teague Moynahan in the "The Forfeitures of 1688" (found in Selections From Old Kerry Records: Historical And Genealogical; by Hickson, Mary Agnes) has intrigued me because I do NOT understand what is actually going on in this list where "Teague Moynahan" appears as No. 2220.
Selections From Selections From Old Kerry Records: Historical And Genealogical; by Hickson, Mary Agnes
This is the enlarged view of the section that I wish to understand starting at "No. 2220"

Selections From Old Kerry Records: Historical And Genealogical; by Hickson, Mary Agnes

County Kerry 1700s-1820s

Draconian anti-Catholic legislation (called the Penal Laws) was imposed from 1703 limiting the right of Catholics to own property above a certain value;  to hold public positions; and to receive education.

According to "Families of Co Kerry" by O'Laughlin referrencing the 1901 census work by J. King:
The name Moynihan, Monighan was one of the more numerous family names in Co. Kerry, 183 families are given there. In 1776 lived Arthur of Stagmount, Malaky of Knockaliffan, Thady of Rhabeg, Darby of Carrum, Thady of Newbridgt. Humphrey Moynihan of Rathbeg, m. Catherine O'Connell, sister of the Liberator.. Spellings of the name are numerous with Moynihan, Monighan, Monaghan and Monahan. given."

Between 1703 and 1820 there was a lot of upheaval in County Kerry:
  • 1780-  Rural Rioting throughout the decade
  • 1793-  The Dingle Massacre"In Dingle there was a British army post. In the year 1793 there was a major agitation against excessive rent by tennats of the Mullins estate. At a big demonstration in Dingle in June, 1793, the soldiers, on Mullins orders, opened fire, killing fourteen and wounding many others."  (Source: Discovering Kerry by T. J. Barrington page 234)
  • 1821-  Rural Rioting, Tithe Wars, Martial law declared
  • 1820's-  Daniel O'Connell of Kerry Catholic Emancipation Movement

The Moynahans in Ontario
1820s to 1920s

Because we have not located the emigration records or any records of the three years our MOynahan ancestors may have stayed in Pennsylvania, all that we know about our Moynahan ancestors was learned from records found in Canada and the United States.

We also have the wonderful story of the Kerry woman from the crossroads in Kenmare who lived right next to my 3rd great-grandfather Dennis Moynahan  Margaret (Sullivan) O'Falvey (1825-1884) in Maidstone, Ontario who may also provide clues to our Kerry Roots.

Source: Ireland, Lawrence Collection of photographs, 1870 - 1910 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
Source: Ireland, Lawrence Collection of photographs, 1870 - 1910 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

  • 1822 Timothy Moynahan (9 years old) emigrates from County Kerry on "The Thomas of Cork, Captain Bamfield , master," and he and his family settled "in Pennsylvania where we lived three years before coming to Windsor......there were sixty-two women, a flute player and a piper aboard. The women were wives of soldiers that were serving the crown in this country, and they were coming over to join their husbands."(Source: Detroit Free Press 1901)
  • 1825 Patrick Moynahan was located by Col. Thos. Talbot at 289 North Talbot Rd, Maidstone, Ontario  
  • 1830 Joanna Moynahan married Patrick Sullivan in New York, USA
  • 1830 Denis Moynahan was located by Col. Thos. Talbot at 6 South Middle Rd., Maidstone, Ontario
  • 1831 Denis Moynahan's marriage record states that he "arrived in Detroit in 1831." 
  • 1831 Matthew Moynahan was located by Col. Thos. Talbot at 296 North Talbot Rd. Sandwich, Ontario in  
  • 1832 James Moynahan married Catherine Hart in Oct at St. Anne's , Detroit, Michigan
  • 1832 James Moynahan was located by Col. Thos. Talbot at 290 North Talbot Rd. Sandwich, Ontario 
  • 1833 Denis Moynahan married Catherine Roach April 29 at St. Anne's , Detroit, Michigan
  • 1837 Jeremiah Moynahan born on 6 SMR, Maidstone, Ontario 
  • 1839 Jeremiah Moynahan born on 6 SMR, Maidstone, Ontario (27 March) (according to 1901 census)
  • 1842 Mary (Brennan) Moynahan born (March 20) in Kerry, Ireland
  •  1847 Dennis Moynahan recieves his land grant of 100 Acres (6 SMR, Maidstone, Ontario)
  • 1853 the Brennan family emigrates from Count Kerry, Ireland to America (Source: 1911 Census)
  • 1858 James Moynahan died January 1 in Wayne, Michigan U.S.A.
  • 1860 Matthew Moynahan died  February 3 in Essex, Ontario
  • 1860 Mathew Moynahan dies (Feb ) in Maidstone, Ontario
  • 1863 the Brennan family emigrates from Count Kerry, Ireland to America (Source: 1921 Census)
  • 1871 Catherine (Roach) Moynahan died March 10 in London, Ontario (burial unknown)
  • 1881 John Brennan died April 21 and he is buried in St. Mary's cemetery in Maidstone
  • 1882 Jeremiah Moynahan died AApr 26) in Detroit Michigan
  • 1885 Denis Moynahan died in Detroit (Aug 26) and is buried in the Mt Elliott cemetery
  • 1891 Catherine (Bowler) Brennan died and she is buried in St. Mary's cemetery in Maidstone
  • 1891 Joanna (Moynahan) Sullivan died (Feb 4)  in Webster, Michigan
  • 1893 John Moynahan bcomes Clerk of the First Sabdwich South Ton Council
  • 1922  Jeremiah Moynahan died June 22 and he is buried in St. Mary's cemetery in Maidstone
  • 1926 Mary (Brennan) Moynahan died June 26 and she is buried in St. Mary's cemetery in Maidstone

Ireland Townland Clues
Our 3rd Great-grandparents 1833 Marriage Certificate

Our 3rd great-grandparents (Denis Moynahan and Catherine Roach) were married in Detroit at Ste.Anne's Roman Catholic church on the 29th of April 1833. The original french records were later transcribed and record two different parishes in county Kerry.

Parish of Himeguennay County Kerry
Parish of Kilcrohane County Kerry

There is no question that Moyahans and Learys were plentiful plentiful in county Kerry
at the time of Griffiths valuation which took place between 1848 and 1862
which is over a decade after Denis and Catherine were married in Detroit

Source: John Grenham's "Irish Ancestors": Moynahan & Leary
Similarly, when we look at the "The Tithe Applotment Books" which were compiled between 1823 and 1838, the Moynahans an Learys are plentiful in county Kerry.
Source: National Library of Ireland

Where in Kerry Are The Moynahans From?

Keeping in mind that the Detroit marriage records, as inconsistent as the parishes are, point to County Kerry consistently. I state this because often when researching "Kilcrohane, Kerry" I receive comments that Kilcrohane is in County Cork.

With Kilcrohane, Cork ruled out, the two most likely parishes are either Kilcrohane in Dunkerron or Kilcummin in Magunihy. 

The Griffiths Valuation of Ireland for Kilcummin, County Kerry reads like the Maidstone Directory with surnames like: Bowler, Brennan, Cahill, Collins, Connell, Cronin, Crowley, Falvey, Foley, Hickey, Leary, Lynch, Lyon, McCarthy, McSweeny, Moynahan, Moynihan, Murphy, Neill, O'Brien, O'Leary, O'Roirdan, O'Sullivan and Walsh o name a few.
Kilcrohane Civil Parish in Dunkerron
Kilcummin Parish in Magunihy

On the Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837) map below, on either side of the town of Kenmare,  you can see Kilcrohane, (a parish in the barony of Dunkerron), at the bottom left and Kilcummin (a civil parish in Magunihy) in the upper right.

Source: Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837)

 A summary of research sources for Kilcrohane Civil Parish, Kerry

Kilcrohane Links
Kerry Census Substitutes
Kerry Local History Books
  • Sneem, The Knot in the Ring; T.E. Stoakley
  • Discovering Kerry;  T.J Barrington
  • Houses of Co. Kerry; V.A. Bary; 247 p. Details county families
  • The famine in Kerry; Michael Costello
  • Handbook of Co. Kerry Family History etc; H. A Denny
  • Old world colony : Cork and South Munster 1630-1830; David Dickson
  • Finding your Ancestors in Kerry; Kay Moloney Caball
  • A Guide to Tracing your Kerry Ancestors; Michael O'Connor 
We still have not determined the exact townland of our Moynahan ancestors but we will be staying in the area around Kenmare, Killarney and Kilcummin and hope to learn more.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

William Foreman (1820-1900)

My husband's 3rd great-grandfather William Foreman (1820-1900) was born in England in 1820 
and emigrated to Ontario where he acquired 100 acres of land in Wellington County 
and lived as a farmer until the day he died.  

William Foreman married Mary McCauley on Christmas Eve of 1845. In 1854 William Foreman was given the Crown Patent for Lot 11, Concession 6 in Wellington county.

Source: OnLand Records; Historical Books; Wellington; Peel

Source: Fisher and Taylor's Wellington County Directory and Gazetteer, 1875-1876

Source: Canadian County Atlas Digital Project; McGill University

William and Mary's Six Children 

William and Mary (McCauley) Foreman had six children on their farm in Wellington county. Only the youngest son Daniel (1862-1938) remained in the area and is buried in the Drayton Cemetery with his father. The other children moved to the Bruce, Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario and Red Deer Alberta.
  1. John Foreman married Sarah Speirs (17 Dec 1874, Peel, Ontario) and they remained on the Wellington farm until his father William Foreman passed away in 1900. John moved to the Bruce peninsula where he died in 1925. At the Bruce County Museum there is a 28 page booklet on the descendants of John and Sarah (Speirs) Foreman. Their children:
    • John Harold Foreman married Hannah Matilda Burt in 1903 (Bruce, Ontario)
    • Adam Speirs Foreman (see photo below) married Lily Pearl Garland in 1909 (Bruce, Ontario)
    • Neil Foreman died at 26 years of age from tuberculosis
    • William Foreman died at 18 months of age.
    • Nancy Susan Foreman
  2. Mary Jane Foreman died at 23 years of age in 1873. The informant on her death certificate was her uncle William Dixon (Lot 5 Con 3, Chingacousy, Peel)
  3. Emily Foreman married George Frederick Hind in 1873 in Arthur, Ontario and she died in Toronto in 1939. Their children:
    • Sarah Hind married Hiram Jarvis in 1896 (Drayton, Ontario) and their five children were born in Brantford and Hamilton Ontario and Los Angeles. Hiram Jarvis was a Real Estate agent, house carpenter and he died in Los Angeles in 1949.
    • George Hind married Mary Ann Adams in 1904 in York, Ontario
    • Fred Hind married Lillian Pearl Smith in 1910 in York, Ontario and they had two children
  4. William H. Foreman married Martha Ann Moore. William died in Alberta, Canada. I have written previously in detail about the family of William and Martha (Moore) Foreman at this link
  5. Susan Foreman married Thomas Clemence (aproximately 1880 Drayton, Ontario) and Susan died in Hamilton in 1936. Even though the death certificate did not stipulate that the heat wave of July 1936 caused her death, Susan's name appeared in the The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada) 13 Jul 1936 newspaper including her the death toll of 175. They had three children:
    • John D. Clemence painted a portrait at 15 years of age that is held at the Wellington Archives and Museum.He lived with his parents in Drayton (1881) and Ottawa (1901),
      before marrying Elizabeth Taylor in Halton County in 1905. By that time
      he was living in Hamilton. In 1926, while living in Burlington, he
      applied for American and Canadian patents for a stapling device that
      he'd invented, designed for fastening containers such as fruit baskets
      (U.S. patent received 1927; patent drawings signed by J.D. Clemence).
      He's alternately described on government records over the years as a
      barber, woodworker, and machinist.
    • Thomas H. Clemence married Margaret Elliott in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan
    • Emma M. Clemence married William Sheriday Semple in 1907 (Hamilton)
  6. Daniel Foreman married Mary Marilla Bowman and died in Wellington in 1938 being the only other Foreman of William's six children buried in the Drayton Cemetery in Mapleton. They had five children:
    • Oscar Arlee
    • Mary Pearl
    • Justin Cecil
    • Orval Earl
    • Daniel
William Foreman's Second Marriage

After William Foreman's first wife Margaret McCauley died in 1878, he remarried in 1886 to Jane Blake. On the marriage record, William is recorded as 60 years old and Jane was recorded as 39.

Their daughter Priscilla was born in 1889. Priscilla married Alonzo Lewis in 1908 (Wellington, Ontario). They had four children:
  • Norman Harold
  • Hazel Jane
  • Florence Pearl 
  • Evelyn Phyllis

Photograph of Alonzo and Priscilla Lewis with children Norman, Evelyn, Florence and Hazel, ca. 1920.

Photograph of Alonzo and Priscilla Lewis with children Norman, Evelyn, Florence and Hazel, ca. 1920. The Lewis family lived in Maryborough Township.
Source: Wellington County Museum: A1989.139 -
W. Foreman family tree, Peel Twp., ca. 1890
Drayton Cemetery 
William Foreman's Final Place of Rest


Williams Eldest Son John Foreman (1848-1925)

John Foreman married Sarah Spiers moved to the Bruce following William Sr.'s death in 1900.
This is a picture of them on their 49th anniversary.

Source: Bruce County Museum
Bruce County Museum

With thanks for the online archive of the following two county Museums
  1. Wellington County Museum
  2. Bruce County Museum
  3. Bruce County Historical Society

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Immigrants Before 1865: Department of Finance - Emigration Service Fund

While searching the Library and Archives Canada collection of  Immigrants Before 1865, I came across an entry for Catherine Brennan on the "30th of September 1844; From Toronto to Sandwich" so I requested to see the document.

I later learned the good news that the LAC had digitized the records Department of Finance, Emigration service Fund (RG 19, volume 2532) and the digitized links had not yet been added to the LAC website.

The Department of Finance, RG 19 records involve the accounts for payment to teamsters and boat captains for transporting indigent immigrants to inland destinations by wagon or boat. It also includes receipts for making coffins. (Search this database here:

Record item 740 for Catherine Brennan in 1844 

Source: Department of Finance, Emigration service Fund (RG 19, volume 2532)
This one small piece of paper contains a wealth of information: Edward McElderry (the Emigrant agent in Toronto) paid to send 11 "indigent" Irish emigrants (including Catherine Brennan, the Collins and McNally families ) from Toronto to Sandwich on the 30th Sep 1844 by way of stagecoach driven by Nelson Frink ....

"Indigent Emigrants"

An indigent person is extremely poor, lacking the basic resources of a normal life. Often the indigent lack not only money but homes.
Indigent comes from a Latin word meaning wanting, which we used to use to mean “lacking” and not just to describe desires. Homeless shelters, soup kitchens, free medical clinics and court-appointed lawyers are all institutions that our society has developed to help indigent people. (Source:

Edward McElderry - Emigrant Agent Toronto
This incredible man, Edwards McElderry, is one of Toronto's best kept secrets. In fact, the monument to honour him is far away from Toronto in Guelph, Ontario.
Edward McElderry "was active in the civil service in Toronto, and was one of the few Roman Catholics to be so. He would have been a member of Bishop Michael Power’s congregation. Power would have known him. Bishop Power trusted him, and Power recommended him for the top job of being the Emigration Agent in Toronto.

McElderry’s role is extremely important. He’s the one who has to triage migrants as they arrive at the docks in Toronto, specifically Reeses’s Wharf. " (Source: Virtual Museum)
"The vast majority of emigrants received by McElderry had already passed through Grosse Ile, had taken sailing craft steamers from the Upper St. Lawrence, and then had departed Montreal with the intent to survey settlement possibilities at Kingston, where many elected to board new vessels in order to investigate other Lake Ontario ports. 

There they would be processed at a make shift shed by Edward McElderry, the local Emigration Agent and representative of the Government of the Province of Canada (the union of what is now Quebec and Ontario) and Constable John B Townsend, who was the Clerk of the Toronto Board of Health." 

Source: Toronto: Reese's Pier

Teamster Nelson Frink

Five pounds ten shillings was paid to Nelson Frink to carry the eleven emigrants from Toronto to Sandwich. It is written:

"Eight Full Passages ... 11 in all"
  • Catherine Brennan 
  • Mary Collins and family
  • John McNally and family
  • Thomas Collins and family

Source: Stagecoach Days Blog

Is This My 3rd Great Grandmother Catherine Brennan?

This piece of paper is significant because it is sending a group of indigent emigrants from Toronto to Sandwich where my Brennan ancestors settled in the mid-1800s. Looking through all of the records in this series, most emigrants triaged in Toronto were sent to nearby townships that were shorter distances away and NOT to Sandwich, Ontario (368 km away!)

All of the evidence that I have collected on my Brennan and Bowler ancestors' emigration from county Kerry Ireland suggest a date of arrival around 1853 when my 2nd great grandmother Mary Brennan (daughter of Catherine Brennan) was twelve years old.

A new search of the Sandwich census records also failed to locate a "Catherine Brennan" or any Brennans at all in 1851. 

I must conclude that this likely has no connection to "my Brennans" directly. But given the facts that emigrants came to Canada through a process known as "chain migration" and given the geographic connection to Sandwich, this record is an important one not to be dismissed or overlooked.

 Immigrants Before 1865 Links

Here is a list of the "Emigration Service Fund" pdf documents on the LAC website that are NOT yet linked to their online database.